What a tour de force. What an idea. I was so excited to be a part of it, to meet so many wonderful, focused young people — and older people!
— Dr. Jane Goodall commenting on the LIFEboat Flotilla, the program which proceeded the Oceans Flotilla.

All aboard to save the seas!

Global Activators is currently developing the Oceans Flotilla, a unique public engagement program that will involve many thousands of people in helping to pull the global oceans back from the brink. Each voyage of the Oceans Flotilla will bring together two hundred outstanding teenaged young leaders with fifty educators and mentors on a flotilla of a dozen small ships for a week of exploration through a sheltered archipelago in a select location in the world. The Oceans Flotilla will focus on the primary reasons the global oceans are in jeopardy, including ocean acidification, ocean warming, over-fishing, and plastic pollution — and the solutions to these challenges. The 200 young leaders on each Flotilla journey will directly bring this vital message to at least 100,000 people through presentations they conduct in their communities when they return home.

 Assorted tuna species pictured. Addressing the crisis of over-fishing will be a top priority of the Oceans Flotilla.

Assorted tuna species pictured. Addressing the crisis of over-fishing will be a top priority of the Oceans Flotilla.

A traveling oceans summit

The Oceans Flotilla uniquely combines elements of an educational adventure, leadership training exercise, and communications initiative. During the daytime of a Flotilla journey, the dozen boats will fan out to different islands and the youth will participate in small group hands-on workshops (delivered by experts and held on shorelines or from the deck of their ship) related to marine biology, the major perils facing the global oceans, and what can be done to turn back the tide of destruction. Additional workshops will aid the participants in creating the presentations they will deliver post-Flotilla. 

The ships will anchor together multiple times throughout the journey, enabling everyone to go ashore for film screenings, music performances, and plenary sessions from renowned ocean conservation leaders and motivational speakers. There will a euphoric sense of camaraderie at these large group gatherings — a feeling created by the extraordinary journey that unites two hundred outstanding young leaders and their mentors in a great cause. Live Internet broadcasts during the Oceans Flotilla will share key moments with audiences worldwide, and each broadcast will feature a call to action to advance specific solutions.

Photo by David Doubilet

Program Impact

When they return home, each of the 200 young leaders will deliver their own presentations about there extraordinary experience to 500 or more people in their community. Each Flotilla journey will therefore result in at least 100,000 people being directly engaged. Audience members will be invited to take advocacy actions that advance solutions to the major threats to the world’s oceans. Global Activators will partner with leading nature conservation organizations for the delivery of this ocean advocacy component. In this way, the outreach efforts of the Flotilla participants will greatly expand the reach and results of the advocacy campaigns of our partner conservation organizations. The post-Flotilla outreach of our participants will be measured, and rewarded, through our Global Young Leaders Award program.

 The successful LIFEboat Flotilla program pictured here was the predecessor to the new Oceans Flotilla.

The successful LIFEboat Flotilla program pictured here was the predecessor to the new Oceans Flotilla.

What I remember most about the LIFEboat Flotilla is feeling empowered and inspired by spending time with other youth who also wanted to protect the environment and were working in their own schools and communities to do so.
— Lauren Graham, participant

TV news stories about the LIFEboat Flotilla program, the predecessor to the Oceans Flotilla.

Participant Selection

Participant selection will be based in part on applicants having successfully undertaken the bronze level tier of our Global Young Leaders Awards program. This will involve them learning about protecting the oceans, and educating others in their schools and communities. In this way, the application process alone will involve many people in ocean conservation learning and advocacy. Participants will fundraise in their communities to contribute to the costs of their participation in the program. There will be bursaries to support participants from remote communities.

Building on past success

The Oceans Flotilla is an evolution of a similar program called the LIFEboat Flotilla that was a significant success in Canada years ago. The principals of Global Activators created that program, which engaged 800 youth on five Flotillas. The LIFEboat Flotillas featured acclaimed presenters including Jean-Michel Cousteau, Dr. Joe MacInnis, and Dr. Jane Goodall.

The differences between the old and new Flotilla programs are notable. While the previous LIFEboat Flotilla program focused on general environmental education, the new Oceans Flotilla will spotlight the endangerment of the world's oceans, and the solutions. 

The Global Potential

It is feasible for the Oceans Flotilla program to take place in many locations around the world that have sheltered archipelagos and charter vessel fleets. We will offer the Ocean Flotilla in places where we can make the most impact. To that end, we are currently investigating which countries/regions are the highest priority places for engaging audiences in advocacy on solutions to the crises facing the oceans. Please join us in helping to launch the Oceans Flotilla program. 

Jean-Michel Cousteau on the LIFEboat Flotilla.

They’re becoming ambassadors of the environment. This experience will change them forever.
— Jean-Michel Cousteau, commenting about the participants on the LIFEboat Flotilla.